tv Politics Nation MSNBC January 30, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
and willard is surging. the only problem, he's got a newtiny on his hands. poll after poll shows romney leading newt by double digits. he leads newt by 14 points in one. he's up by 15 in yet another. and a third one released just this afternoon shows him in a commanding 20-point lead over gingrich. and on the trail, hundreds of people are actually turning out for romney events. this looks like smooth sailing. this looks like he's got florida locked up. too bad newton leroy gingrich hasn't gotten the message. or should i say is ignoring the message. >> we will go all the way to the convention. i believe the republican party will not nominate a pro abortion, pro gun control, pro tax increase moderate from massachusetts. this is going to be a straight
out contest for the next four or five months. >> four or five more months? wow! well, get ready, folks. looks like we're going to be seeing a lot more of this. >> i know the speaker is not real happy. speaker gingrich. he's not feeling very excited these days. i know. it's sad. >> he has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponent. i give governor romney's campaign due respect for the sheer volume of negativity that they use. >> speaker gingrich said that threw him off. he can't debate before a quiet audience. then the next audience was really loud. he said that threw him off. >> governor romney is just plain not telling the truth. you cannot get to be president if you don't have the courage to tell the truth to the american people. >> yeah, of the moon as the 51st state is not what would come to my mind as a campaign basis for here in florida. >> keep tup, fellas. you're doing the democrats' jobs for them.
joining me now, bob shrum, democratic strategist and a professor at nyu. and dana milbank, political columnist for "the washington post." he joins us by phone from the gingrich campaign bus. thanks to both of you for being on the show tonight. >> happy to be here. >> my pleasure, reverend. >> now tonight, bob, let me start with you. in your mind, what is the significance of all this republican infighting? >> i think it's damaged romney a lot. if you look at what's happened in your nbc poll, he's behind the president. he's losing ground with independents in terms of favorability. in the nbc/marist poll, he's losing florida to the president. part of that is that the economy is getting better. but part of that is that this process has put romney on the wrong side of the great dividing line in american politics. he now looks not only like the face of the gop establishment. he looks like the face of unfairness in america. he's become a proof point for
the president's message. so i think he's taken on a lot of water. if this thing drags out for another couple of months, he'll take on even more. >> now as he continues to sustain these attacks from gingrich, he continues to be hit with things that are coming out about him. despite the fact that he is clearly leading in just about every poll in florida, you still have to deal with the fact. and he cannot get away with that his negatives are higher than his positives, which really raises the question of electability. bob, i'm talking to you. >> well, you're absolutely right. what's happened here in florida and it happened in iowa as well is that the romney campaign saw a big threat so they dropped an atom bomb on gingrich. all of these negative ads. it's worked. i think that romney's probably going to win this big. we'd be very surprised if he
didn't. but it's also illustrated the establishment of the republican party when it really wants to and gets behind somebody can do great damage to the other guy and it's indicated the relative powerlessness of the right in the party. they may be able to dictate the platform. they can't pick the nominee. in this whole process, this scrum as it goes on, i think that romney is going to take on more and more negatives. >> let me ask you this. romney has outspent gingrich 4-1 in florida. can gingrich withstand a race where this plays out in state after state? >> well, look. here's how gingrich survives. it's the only way he survives. let's say he has enough money to get through february and get to those contests in early march. wins the south almost all of it and then wins texas. what happens then? he has something we've never seen in american politics. he has kind of a third comeback. but he then has to go to a big state where all the resources and all the attention are
concentrated for a week or two weeks like ohio or pennsylvania or california. and the gingrich campaign once again faces a 5-1 disparity with romney. he once again has all of these attacks directed at him and he once again, at least on the evidence, falls apart. i don't think at that point he has a fourth comeback, but you end up with a republican party where there's a lot of anger and a lot of division because romney is headed toward a very begrudged nomination. >> now dana, we've got you off the bus in front of a camera at a gingrich event. and let me ask you. you've been with newt gingrich all day. let me ask you candidly. is this personal? it seems like newton leroy gingrich is saying no matter what, he's digging in. is this personal? is this strategic? does he think down the road he can pick up some southern states he's favored in super tuesday? what's happening here? >> well, reverend, i've always thought with newt gingrich it
was more about ego than anything else. what we're seeing here in this final active dave campaigning is nothing short of scorched earth. he has been basically using all these sort of anti-mormon dog whistles suggesting that romney is anti-jewish, that romney is anti-catholic. we've also had him just randomly making up things. newt announced to a crowd in tampa, there's a brand new poll out that says we're all even. it turns out this was a poll released on friday done from polling done several days before that. there's a lot of flailing going on, but it's more than just flailing because he is leaving lasting impressions in the minds of voters here. if he loses, as all people expect, he will, tomorrow, he does have the capacity to go on and continue to pull away delegates in the coming stops. >> let me stop you right there. i want to ask you something. are you saying that you are hear something blatant anti-mormon language now out of newt
gingrich? >> i said they are dog whistles. when he's getting up there and saying -- talking about how romney has been taking away the kosher meals from jewish residents of massachusetts. when he's talking about anti-catholic positions that he's taken in health care. he's been doing that sort of thing. he got up earlier today in a similar vain and said it's time to send a message to george soros and goldman sachs and the new york establishment. that it's -- money, power doesn't matter and it's time to bring back the people power. >> now let me ask you this, dana, while we're on newt gingrich. he's making a case, politically, that 95% of the delegates still won't be selected even after florida.
that there will only be up to and including florida up to 15 out of 20. it would resonate with voters around the country as they continue the republican primary road trip as one would call them. >> let's think of how well that worked for hillary clinton. it kept her in the race for a long time after many people thought she had no opportunity there and had to drop out. won't have the same kind of funding she had. he's not even taking press on his airplane anymore. that's why we're polling around after him in a bus right now. does not have a lot of money coming in. does not have a lot of support out there. the crowds are small. the press corps is thin. >> now, bob, over the weekend, mr. gingrich somewhat received the support of sarah palin and,
well, she at least came to his defense. and received the outright endorsement of herman cain. does these two things help them or hurt them? >> oh, i don't think they hurt him. even though there is some polling data that suggests that cain's endorsement is anything but a mixed -- is clearly a mixed blessing. look. what's happened here is there's a lot of resentment in the republican party on the right, among the tea party types. there's a lot of resistance to romney. the establishment decided he is the only acceptable candidate. and you saw everybody unite this week to trash gingrich. it wasn't just the ads. it was every single commentator. was commentators who had previously expressed big doubts about romney. that's what they think they have to do. and i'm sure dana, when he looks at these smaller crowds, he's seeing the effect of that in the advertising. every time he gets off that bus. >> dana, jeb bush, who is
extremely popular, i'm told, among republicans in florida, won't make an endorsement. in a big article today, it says that it has been -- it has not been from a lack of effort by mr. romney who has made phone calls, traded e-mails and met privately trying to win over mr. bush. the campaign was poised to make him a national co-chair. but several republicans familiar with the offer say it was declined. he even showed up with his dad to meet with president obama friday night. what message is jeb bush sending? >> i think the message here, reverend is that jeb bush is a very smart politician who still believes he has a political future here. so is he going to go out and endorse mitt romney who may wind up disappointing a lot of conservatives down the road? if romney is going to win the nomination anyway, it's not a whole lot of up side for him in doing that. and if romney eventually disappoints the conservative, they can't turn around and blame
jeb bush. i think he's looking out for himself. let them slug it out in this ugly way they are doing down here. >> bob, you've run a lot of campaigns. quickly as you can, give me an answer, almost a yes or no. gingrich stays in, loses by double digits. is the longer he stay in more helpful to president obama or is he getting mr. willard romney tough enough for the fight that will help him with obama? >> romney is not being battle tested in this. he's being wounded. the longer newt stays in, the tougher it is for romney. >> all right, bob shrum, dana milbanks. thanks to both of you for joining me this evening. ahead -- newt gingrich says he wants to put poor kids to work as janitors. you won't believe what he was doing as a teen. plus, under fire. the head of the republican
national committee compares president obama to the cruise ship captain charged with manslaughter. and then there's this one. >> get the hell out of the united states of america. >> the disrespect to this president needs to stop. my commentary ahead. and chris christie tries to walk back his explosive civil rights comment. but i'm not buying it. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery? ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion, also refreshing plus tea. could've had a v8.
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the republicans who want to be president all have a reagan problem. they just don't realize it. even though the american people are rejecting what reagan's trickle-down economics has done to the country, both romney and newt gingrich are trying to claim the reagan mantel. >> i am in fact, the legitimate heir of the reagan movement. not some liberal from massachusetts. >> i will fight with all my energy to keep america the strong nation it's been and the hope of the earth and the shining city on the hill. >> here's the problem. reagan's shining city on the
hill turned out to be a gated community for the 1%. 30 years of reaganomics has made the income for the top 1% skyrocket up 275% while the poor has seen their income remain stagnant. now republicans are trying to defend this horrific record the same way that reagan did. even using his talking points. >> since when do we in america accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? since when do we in america endorse the politics of envy and division? sound familiar? we've heard this kind of nonsense from romney and the others for months now. but the president is hitting back. >> you can call this class warfare all you want. but asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as a secretary in taxes. most americans would call that
common sense. when americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich. >> joining me now is bob franken, a syndicated columnist and -- with feature -- king features and one who is known mr. gingrich for a long time and covered him for an extensive period of time. and cynthia tucker, pulitzer prize wing syndicated columnist and now a visiting professor of journalism at the university of georgia. she recently wrote a column about class warfare and the gop's reagan problem. let me start with you, cynthia. does romney really think this recycled reagan talking points will hide the fact that he's a 1 percenter as a candidate? >> i think he really does think the strategy will work, reverend. i think that's the reason he keeps using it. but he lives in a bubble.
he talks about earning $374,000 in one year in speaking fees as not very much. you know, when he released his income taxes, he said, well most of what i earned was income from investments, but then i earned a little from speaking fees, not very much. that turns out to be more than $374,000, more than seven years' salary for the average american. so when he talks about class warfare, yes, he's trying to hide the fact that he doesn't have anything to offer, not just the poor, but the squeezed working class, people who are struggling to stay afloat even though they are working every day. >> now, bob, congressman paul ryan on fox news sunday wasn't backing down from medicare changes in the budget. let me show you what he says.
>> will it be the same plan or will there be something new? >> we'll be working off it. we're not backing off of any of our ideas, any of our solutions. >> so, bob, despite the fact that every poll shows a majority of americans and in many cases a majority of republicans don't want to see this continued inequality in terms of the economics of this country in terms of how people have income inequality and opportunity gaps, he is saying we're not changing anything. they want to protect tax cuts for the rich and change everything else for everyone else. and they're not backing down. >> so when people talk about inequality in this country, there is always somebody who will scream class warfare, which i think is an interesting term because it has sort of a marxist connotation and they are suggesting that the people who are advocating changes in this inequality are some sort of communist. that's sort of the implication. it's a little word game that
they play. but they are sort of like the greedy fool who kills the hen that lays the golden egg. they are undermining our society. and here is why. we have a form of government that requires a certain sense of teamwork. everybody has to feel like he is benefiting from being part of the team. more and more americans are realizing that the team, in fact is not working on their behalf. it's only working on behalf of a few people. they are being had. if they start abandoning the team, then the whole operation is going to frazzle apart. and that seems to be what we can look forward to. >> now, cynthia, if you look at america's views on these policies, they started with reagan and they continued -- really created and continued now this income inequality. 74% say income inequality is a problem. 77%, corporations and rich have too much power. 66% say class conflict between
the rich and the poor. so we are saying the majority of americans are trying to engage in class warfare and let me read you this. romney and his gop rivals have refused to concede the u.s. is not a nation where anyone can get ahead, where the rewards are unlimited if you work hard, where the opportunities there are for the taking. i'm reading cynthia to cynthia. you said that. explain. >> i did, reverend al. and i also said that i don't believe that that yelling class warfare is going to work this time because people know that if there is some kind of class warfare being waged, it's being waged against the middle class. it's old rhetoric, stale rhetoric. it may have worked for awhile men reagan was in office, but i just don't think it works anymore. people have come to understand,
and occupy wall street was one of the forces that helped people understand. that there is a war being waged on the average american working person and it's benefitting the rich. it's benefiting people like mitt romney. so i don't think yelling class warfare is going to work for them nearly as well as they hoped. >> now, bob, there are some that are even threatened and i am going to talk more about this. but threatening that the president, president obama better not let bush tax cuts expire. and they are arguing that we need those tax cuts. they create jobs. well, we went to the research department and let me show you what we came up with. from 2001 to 2007, during the bush tax cuts, we had 0.6% job growth. the worst since 1945. we can have different opinions,
we can't have different facts. the fact is the rich got the tax cuts and did not create even 1% job growth. they put the money in their pocket, bob. >> well, keep on talking facts, al. and as ronald reagan says, there you go again. the point is -- the point is they are still relying on that old discredited argument that a rising tide lifts all boats, which is to say that if the wealthy get money, then everybody will be uplifted. the truth of the matter is, as that study points out, that a rising tide really swamps just about everybody's votes but a few people. >> especially if your boat is already under water when you start rising. >> that's right. >> bob franken, cynthia tucker. thanks for your time tonight. still ahead -- newt gingrich, the college years. turns out to be young newt didn't follow his own voice for working his way through school. plus -- a top republicans
and how they are making ugly statements about the president. what else is new? the gop rhetoric has crossed the line, though. and i'm responding tonight. where's dave? it's almost 10:00. should we get him up? i'll get him up. [ sizzling ] ♪ i think i hear something. hi dad. hi mom. [ female announcer ] oscar mayer bacon. it's naturally hardwood smoked for hours to be the best.
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work as janitors. >> really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitorjanito janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. we've also seen newt say today's college students don't work enough either. >> i would tell students, get through as quick as you can, borrow as little as you can. have a part-time job, but that's very different than the costs going up over the last 20 years. >> but those rules didn't apply when newt was in school. he relied on his first wife jackie and his parents to pay for college. "the washington post" dug up a vanity fair article from 1995 that says, quote, during his college years, newt called up his father and stepmother to ask for financial help. his stepmother can still hear
his exact words. i do not want to go to work. i want all my time for my studies. really? newt didn't want to get a part-time work as a janitor? and that didn't change once he got his first degree. quote, his district administrator remembers that jackie put him all the way through school. all the way through the ph.d. he didn't work. newt, the work ethic you want for today's kids is way different from the one you had for yourself. did you think we wouldn't notice that little bit of professional and personal hypocrisy? nice try, newt, but we got you. and we didn't mind that the work was just a little bit to do. who has a million things to pick up each month on top of her prescriptions. thankfully, her walgreens pharmacist
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talker is admitting what conservatives are really thinking. >> cayman islands -- >> limited resources versus barack obama who i saw last night wow a huge crowd in washington at this big dinner. i mean, a bunch of us sitting next to each other, very prominent conservatives, former bush cabinet members, we're looking at each other going, i don't know if mitt romney can beat him. >> so prominent conservatives are scared. now they are doing what they do best when they're scared. playing ugly politics. here's the head of the republican national committee, reince priebus. >> in a few months, this is all going to be ancient history and we're going to talk about our own little captain scatino who is president obama abandoning the ship here and is more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president. >> comparing the president to a man charged with manslaughter?
a man charged with this reckless cruise ship disaster where 17 people died and 16 are still missing. and here's tea party freshman alan west in florida over the weekend. >> take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneur will and spirit of the american people somewhere else. you can take it to europe. you can take it to the bottom of the sea. you can take it to the north poll, but get the hell out of the united states of america. yeah, i said hell. >> yes, you did say hell, congressman west. and a standing ovation and cheers for telling president obama to take it to hell.
where is the respect for the office of the president? and then there's the no tax man. the gop tax-free ring leader grover norquist. he says, quote, obama condition sit there and let all the tax cuts lapse and then the republicans will have enough votes in the senate in 2014 to impeach. impeach? impeach the president for disagreeing with your policies? they are doing anything to disgrace this president. and i find it truly appalling. joining me now is msnbc analyst richard wolffe and david corn, msnbc political analyst and mother jones washington bureau chief. thanks to both of you for being here tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> sure thing. >> richard, let me start with you. can you believe how low they're going? >> sadly, i can, yes, reverend. this has been going on for a very long time.
and your opener was right in the sense that you linked together the strengths of the president with the sort of edge of these attacks because what we saw from day one was an arc straighted campaign of vilifcation of this president. he won big. he won in states that democrats didn't normally win in, and the strategy, the explicit strategy of mitch mcconnell in the senate was to deny this president any -- any bipartisan votes. so not a single republican could switch sides and vote with this president, even when he was doing things that were actually republican ideas. that led to all sorts of contortions. health care had to be a socialist thing as compared to a republican bunch of ideas that this president picked up. and you go through the list here. what you end up with is a process of trying to say this president is totally different. channeling the anger and the extremist, ugly, racist parts of the right wing media and the tea party here. and you come to a point where, frankly, three years on
comparing the president to an incompetent italian captain is somehow normal. >> now david, let me ask a question because i know you know these things better than me. president obama lets the bush tax cuts expire. that's an impeachable act? i mean there's nothing unethical about it. there's nothing certainly criminal about it. i mean you disagree with tax policies and now that's an impeachable offense in. >> the only thing that surprises me here, reverend is that you are surprised. grover norquist is a fellow who has no stranger to extremist rhetoric. he wants to drown the government in a bath tub and he's part of this right wing coalition that from -- as richard has said for the last two years since he used the most extreme and just insulting and absurd rhetoric. they compared the democrats and obama to nazis when they were passing the health care legislation.
you've been all over the food stamp racist rhetoric of newt gingrich. it doesn't stop. it's not just that they want to deny obama his policies as richard mentioned. they actually are trying deny his legitimacy. that was behind birtherism and you see mitt romney -- he doesn't say the president is not an american or is not -- wasn't born here but he keeps saying the president doesn't understand american values. of course, newt gingrich and rick santorum says the president wants to destroy american values. that's the big divide in the republican primary. whether you believe obama wants to destroy american values or just doesn't understand them. but in any -- in either case, the bottom line message is that he's not one of us. you know what that means. >> and this extreme message is hurting the republicans with independents, richard. look at this full screen. back in november, willard romney was beating president obama by 13 points with independents.
now the president is beating him 44% to 36%. they are losing independents with their extreme rhetoric. >> which as the romney campaign well knows, that's where presidential elections get decided. that's where romney actually had his moment of strength there among independent voters. and, by the way, look. you don't have to believe what we say on msnbc. but when you -- it helps. but when you listen to the president, the real man speaking and you look at what the public reaction was to the state of the union. when you get 90% approval for the messages, the policies, the way he spoke in that speech, and you compare it to this extremist crazy talk on the right about him trying to enslave america or not being american at all, the two things don't match up. and independents may not take the party line that republicans will and they'll say, this doesn't add up. this doesn't make any sense so they do hurt themselves for precisely that reason. it doesn't stack up with
reality. >> independents, david. i want your view. they are sitting home watching this extreme, ugly language. what are they sitting by their tv sets saying? >> listen. i think a lot of people out there are mad about the economy. they may even be mad at the president. but they don't think he's a socialist. they don't think he's a secret muslim. they don't think he wants to destroy america. if mitt romney is going to try to put that message across, the polls show it. it's not going to work. now the interesting thing is we heard newt gingrich earlier today say he will take this fight right up to the convention. now i doubt that's going to happen but if it does happen and he does lose in florida tomorrow night, we're going to have mitt romney with this tugging on him all the way for the next few months to prove he's a conservative. he's going to have to figure out a way to keep up with newt gingrich and the bash obama category. so the longer he does that, the more of this impression will become deeper amongst independents that he is out of touch and that he is -- and that
he's part of the right wing extremism which doesn't go over well with the middle. they want to see problems solved without much of a fight. that may not be realistic, but the longer romney goes on sort of flirt with this and this atmosphere, it's going to hurt his chances in the fall. >> richard, i've got to go back to this whole reince priebus, chair of the republican party, comparing the president of the united states to this captain that caused this very tragic ocean liner to go down in italy. where people died. and people are still missing. i mean, not only does it disrespect the presidency and the president. what about the people who died, family and about the families that are still waiting to see if their loved ones will some way be miraculously be recovered and you are taking their pain to use it for some cheap political
points? >> yeah. distasteful. offensive. by the way, it's a lame line. it's not funny. it's not pointed. it doesn't mean anything. oh, and if the rnc chairman has a question about where this economy is going, he really ought to talk to mitt romney. in that interview with lauren graham just last week he said the economy is getting better. of course it's getting better. so if he wants to stack up to reality in any meaningful way and find a measure of taste in this public discourse, maybe he should talk to mitt romney. >> well, while they are all doing their ugly chatter, david, including comparing this to where people are still hoping for miracles with some of those that are lost at sea, president obama had a town hall meeting earlier today. he's talking about fairness. he's not feeding into the ugliness. >> richard made the point earlier. the state of the union speech, i thought the president was stellar. one of his best performances. he looked real.
looks like he cares. it was policy drenched. so it's not just talk. here are the things. since the debt ceiling, since the jobs speech and the last few months, he's been on the road. he's been in washington fighting for things that people care about. so he hasn't been abandoning his post. that doesn't make sense. and i think you compare that to sort of name calling on the right. it looks good. he still has a heavy lift because the economy is not in a good position and a lot of people will be interested for some kind of change. but if the republicans and mitt romney, if he ends up being the nominee keeps engaging in name calling, it will make obama's job so much easier and he'll look so much better and, this is the key thing, more presidential than the competition. >> i'm going to have to leave it there. richard wolffe, david corn. thank you both for joining us. >> thank you. >> thanks, reverend. >> ahead, chris christie is trying to spin his outrageous comments about the civil rights movement. we'll get a reality check on that. as someone who uses insulin,
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getting closer to forcing christie into a corner on same-sex marriage. his comment about civil rights set off a national firestorm. >> the fact of the matter is that i think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dieing in the streets in the south. >> but today, christie claims it was just a big misunderstanding. >> what i said was i'm sure civil rights advocates would have liked to have this as another option but it was not available to them. and the reason it wasn't, although i didn't say this is because the political climate wasn't advantageous to even do it. >> i'm not buying it and neither are new jersey democrats. they held a news conference today responding to the governor. and they were joined by civil rights hero georgia congressman john lewis. >> no one in the state legislature in alabama or in
georgia or mississippi or any of the 11 southern states from virginia to texas would have had the courage to say let's go by referendum. if two men want to fall in love and get married, or two women, it's their business. >> christie's hail mary on same-sex marriage is all politics. he wants a referendum on civil rights rather than a vote in the state legislature where it was likely to pass. by wanting the voters to decide, he thinks he's given political cover to himself and republicans. joining me now is the speaker of the new jersey assembly, sheila oliver. she took part in that press conference today in new jersey. welcome, speaker oliver. >> my pleasure, reverend sharpton. >> you spoke with governor christie today. did he back track on the civil rights comments? did he apologize? >> he did not offer an apology but he set out to describe that
he believes it's a mischaracterization of what he implied. i explained to the governor that he has to understand that in the historical context of the civil rights movement, first of all, the terminology happy is something that has a poor connotation for us because they used to say that the slaves were happy to be on the plantation. so i tried to give the governor a historical perspective into the history of our people. and our repulsive reaction to characterization that we would have been happy for a referendum. you know, people could not vote. they couldn't drink at water fountains. they could not work. they could not assemble. they had to go -- >> how does he respond to that? how do you talk about a referendum when, by law, blacks couldn't have even voted in the referendum. does he understand how totally, totally opposite of reality he
was talking? >> that is why my initial reaction when i heard his comments last week was that the governor needed a history lesson. you know, congressman lewis this afternoon spoke about blacks would have to guess how many jelly beans were in a jar in order to vote. they'd have to -- >> bubbles on a bar of soap. >> exactly. >> pay a share tax when they had no money to pay. the governor described to me, though, that he was disheartened that there were attempts to describe marriage equality as civil rights. and an issue of civil rights. >> well, he brought it up. i mean, he equated the two. let me ask you this. let's talk the politics of it. and you and i have. i've been out there with you dealing with some of his issues with labor and education. >> yes. >> where he's laid off workers. where he's done things in the
budget. he never called for a referendum on those things. that's why isn't this really about him putting and playing politics because when it came to things that really were political, he didn't say let the voters decide do we want to have unions to have this, a budget to have this. but in this which is really a social issue, all of a sudden, he discovers democracy? >> yes, and i think for many people, it gets down to the constitution. the u.s. constitution provides equal protection under the law. the u.s. constitution imbues everyone with inalienable rights, and it doesn't say in order to have your rights you have to have a referendum. constitution guarantees you your rights. we fought that battle 45 years ago. 50 years ago. >> i think i read about the tyranny of the majority. and especially when you are talking about in areas like this. if you look at number two, the
1959 gallup poll. 53% of people thought the school desegregation was more trouble than it was worth. and on and on and on. 64 gallup poll, 20% of white voters in the south. only 20% approved the civil rights act. if any of these votes had gone down, particularly with no black votes to offset it we never would have made an advancement of civil rights in this country. so for him now to equate anyone's rights, whether they are the same or not, with a referendum is unbelievable to me. >> reverend sharpton, new jersey was the last state in this union to abolish slavery. >> wow. i've got to leave it there. i'm letting it resonate. and i'm out. new jersey's state assembly speaker sheila oliver, thank you for your time tonight. you know how to close a segment. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll be right back. we'll have you back. [ female announcer ] the best things in life are the real things.
republicans are so desperate to justify their voter i.d. laws that they'll do and just about say anything. they'll even claim they see dead people at the polls. the south carolina attorney general claims more than 950 dead people voted in this month's republican presidential primary. hundreds of dead people, zombies at the polls. that's a bad case of fraud. except it's not true. when the state election commission asked to review the names in question, the attorney general only handed over six. five were alive and the other died after casting an absentee ballot. the number of actual fraud
cases? zero. folks, some right wingers are so desperate to justify their voter suppression, they'll even possibly commit fraud themselves. professional smear artist james mckeaton sent his cronies to collect primary ballots in new jersey using the names of voters who had recently died. but an election official in new hampshire said on this show that voter fraud wasn't a problem before that. do you feel there is a problem of voter fraud in the state? >> no, i do not. i have not seen enough instances of any voter fraud in the state. i know that the attorney general's office investigates any claims of voter fraud and have not found any to be of substance. >> new hampshire has had only one voter fraud conviction since 2000. seems like the only voter fraud we are seeing is from the republicans trying to prove that